In a recent article by Dr. Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D., in Psychology Today, researchers published findings that "each additional happy friend increases your probability of being happy by about 9 percent." Wow! Compare that to the statistics showing that an increase in pay of $5,000 annually is likely to increase happiness by only about 2 percent. Not only does this illustrate that money can't buy happiness, but it demonstrates the infectious nature of emotion.
Leading life-coaches and leadership training experts have long advocated the idea of "interviewing your potential employer" to see if the culture of the organization is a fit for YOU, and there's a very good reason for this. Brain research has shown that we actually do begin to absorb and mimic the emotional state of those around us. When exposed to negative people in a static environment for long periods of time, you are putting your emotional health at risk just as much as if you were exposing your physical body to a virus.
The good news, however, is that the converse is also true! If primarily positive people are among your closest and even peripheral circles of friends, you're more likely to be a positive person yourself. Think about it. Have you ever been confronted by someone who is in a state of upset, and found yourself responding in kind? On the other hand, if you find yourself in a negative frame of mind, and you encounter someone with a positive, pleasant attitude, you tend to feel refreshed yourself!
Even more interesting is research which showed that positive
people tend to be the CENTER of their social circles, and their influence tends to spread outward to second and third connections within their immediate sphere. Wow! Image the power you can have to change your family dynamics, your workplace culture, your civic organizations, or other areas of you life, all with the power of a positive attitude!